As an abbreviated trading week winds down today, Tesla (TSLA 4.11%) stock is taking it on the chin with a 3% decline through 10:30 a.m. ET Thursday.
You can blame Elon Musk for that.
As you've probably heard by now, Tesla CEO Elon Musk this morning publicly declared his interest in acquiring Twitter (TWTR) for $54.20 per share in cash -- $43 billion for the whole company. Musk first disclosed his 9% stake in the social media company last week -- and first began buying up the shares last month.
It's not entirely clear what Musk's game is here. Is his goal to buy Twitter in order to set speech free, so to speak? Or is this just a publicity stunt?
The fact that Musk presented Twitter with a take-it-or-leave it offer -- (Barron's reports that Musk told Twitter management that $54.20 will be his "best offer") -- might offer a clue. Musk may actually be hoping that Twitter will reject his offer, giving him an excuse to dump his Twitter shares and collect a quick 42% profit on his investment -- that being roughly how much Twitter shares have soared since he acquired his stake in March.
Looking at today's price movement, it seems investors are unsure of Musk's motives, and this is dragging down Tesla stock -- but I think that's actually the exact wrong way to look at this.
Since Musk first began buying Twitter, Twitter stock has risen enormously in value -- but after enjoying a brief pop in the aftermath of Musk's announcement last week, Tesla stock has actually gone down 14%. Seems to me, whether Twitter says yes and Musk buys it, or Twitter says no and Musk sells his stake -- either way, a quick resolution of this distraction would be the best outcome for Tesla shareholders.
It's time to Elon Musk to do less tweeting and less Twitter-shopping -- and get back to just selling electric cars.